Monthly Archives: January 2017

psalm 21

21

O Lord, in your strength the king rejoices, and in your salvation how greatly he exults!
You have given him his heart’s desire and have not withheld the request of his lips.          Selah
For you meet him with rich blessings; you set a crown of fine gold upon his head.
He asked life of you; you gave it to him, length of days forever and ever.
His glory is great through your salvation; splendor and majesty you bestow on him.
For you make him most blessed forever; you make him glad with the joy of your presence.
For the king trusts in the Lord, and through the steadfast love of the Most High he shall not be moved.
Your hand will find out all your enemies; your right hand will find out those who hate you.
You will make them as a blazing oven when you appear.
The Lord will swallow them up in his wrath, and fire will consume them.
You will destroy their descendants from the earth, and their offspring from among the children of man.
Though they plan evil against you, though they devise mischief, they will not succeed.
For you will put them to flight; you will aim at their faces with your bows.
Be exalted, O Lord, in your strength!
We will sing and praise Your power.

The first thing that jumps off the page with me here: the king is not rejoicing in the kingdom that God has given him. He isn’t rejoicing in the riches, fame, women, glory that all come with being a king. He is rejoicing in the Lord’s strength and the salvation that God has given him.

That’s it.

“He asked life of you; you gave it to him.”

Man. I wish that were the simple prayer off my lips.

Instead, I’m asking for temporary satisfaction. I’m asking for God to remove trials from my life – trials that very well may be drawing me closer to Him than I realize, and I want them GONE. I’m asking for Him to pat me on the back with affirmation of how good I’ve done avoiding sin.

I’m asking Him to approve of me with all the kewl stuff I’ve done on His behalf.

I’m not asking for Him.
I’m just asking for what He can give me to keep me happy.

I am so challenged by the simplicity of these prayers and psalms of God’s great goodness and steadfast love. I find myself getting so wrapped up in begging for what I want, being disappointed that I don’t have what I want, and missing the profound beauty of a God who has given me life. Abundant life. Righteous life. Through the blood of the Perfect One, God’s wrath has been swallowed up on my behalf.

We are 25 days in to 2017 and I find myself already saying, “Yes!! Freaking yesssss!!!” to God’s character and truth found in this psalm.

“Though they plan evil against you, though they devise mischief, they will not succeed.” 

God has already shown up in big, big ways this year and I can’t wait to see how he kicks satan in the teeth in the days to come.

His glory truly is great and we will sing and praise His power.

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psalm 20

psalm 20.png

May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble!
May the name of the God of Jacob protect you!
May he send you help from the sanctuary and give you support from Zion!
May he remember all your offerings and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices!
Selah
May he grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans!
May we shout for joy over your salvation, and in the name of our God set up our banners!
May the Lord fulfill all your petitions!
Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with the saving might of his right hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright.
O Lord, save the king!
May he answer us when we call.

This psalm has taken me by surprise a little bit tonight.

I didn’t grow up thinking that the Lord would do the things that David is petitioning Him to do here. Did I think He could? Of course! I was a good Christian girl!

Did I think He would? No. Because I was really an undeserving sinner and how dare I ask bold and mighty things of a loving, merciful, and gracious God. Tisk tisk, Smith.

Thanks to some books that are currently ruining my life (just kidding. kinda.) and a reminder from my friend on her blog today, I can proclaim and ask bold, big things of and from my good, loving God. I can say things like, “May He grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans!”

And not only can I say it, I can believe it.
And not only can I believe it, I can expect it.

Now, don’t roll your eyes all the way back in your brain at me. I’m not saying that if you speak it and believe it, it will happen. I’m not telling you to make a vision board or go all Secret with your dreams and desires.

But I am saying that God loves me, and loves you, and desires to give good things to His children.

Which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

– Jesus, Matthew 7:9, 11

I’m reading one of those books that’s ruining my life with a friend and we recently talked about having to let our dreams die so that God dreams can be birthed.

And it scared the crap out of us.

It’s hard to believe that we can boldly open our hands, lay our dreams/desires/lives down, and expect something better.

But we can. Because, “Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with the saving might of his right hand.”

I’ll leave you with this thought from a recent sermon (that you should listen to after reading to the end…): “We have no right to come to God. Yet, because of Jesus, we are told to bang on the door and expect an answer.” We can declare all that David has declared here, because the Lord our God has answered His children from heaven by sending His Son Jesus. We get to shout for joy over your salvation.

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psalm 19

psalm-19

Have I ever mentioned how much I love the book of psalms?

No?

Well. I love it. A lot.

The poetic truth found throughout this book continues to blow me away, and psalm 19 is no different.

The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. (v7-9)
Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. (v13-14)

“Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins”

Presumptuous here means proud or arrogant.

So, here, David is asking God to keep him away from prideful sin.

Man. Ffffiiiinnnneeeee.

When I look at this psalm as a whole, the thing that keeps hitting me in the forehead is: the law of the Lord is the only thing that is true and right and holy and anything outside of that – anything you, Kayla, manufacture for yourself – is pride. It is sin. You are presuming you know better than God. That you can run the world. And contrary to popular belief, girls do not run the world. (Thanks Bey.)

I love that, in verse 10, David says that everything listed above is sweeter than honey. And we’re not talking about Jessica Alba.

The law and testimony and precepts and commandments of the Lord are to be desired. I don’t get to make my own rules up. The laws of the Lord are not meant to hold a good man down. They are not meant to suck the fun out of life.

No.
They are to be desired because they lead to life.
They lead to deep, intimate communion with God.
They teach us how to be more like Jesus.

Following the laws of the Lord perfectly don’t save us. Jesus has already done that. We cannot perfectly do all that He has laid out in His law. But they do teach us about God’s character and show us how great His love is – that, even though we cannot keep His law perfectly (and sinless perfection is the requirement to come before Him) He sent His Son, Jesus, to live His law perfectly, die a brutal death on our behalf, and raise again, defeating death and sin and hell forever. The law shows us our great need. The law shows us how great our Savior is. And that…well…that is definitely sweeter than honey.

to read all of psalm 19, click here

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psalm 18

18

I love you, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (v1-2)

When I was 18 years old, I forced myself to believe these 2 verses.

Wait a second…I was 18. And it’s psalm 18. I JUST PUT THAT TOGETHER. #GodSighting

I digress.

My freshman year of college was SO HARD you guys. So. Hard. I moved away from the familiar and felt so lost. I was in a sea of strangers with no connection; on a team with no teammates. I had nowhere to go.

So, I decided to read my Bible like any good Southern Baptist girl should do when she has no other solution.

(Side note: there typically is no other solution, so we should just start with Jesus.)

I came to psalm 18 and immediately thought, “Yes. This. This is truth and I need to know it in the depths of my soul.”

I would repeat these verses to myself every day.
This is who God is: He is my rock, fortress, deliverer, shield, horn of my salvation, and stronghold. He is the One I take refuge in.

Even if I feel distant from Him, it doesn’t change who He is.

The truth of God’s character and who He is toward me pulled me out of some krap.

But

it doesn’t end there.

The kewlest thing about God’s Word is that it truly is living and active.

When I re-read this psalm tonight, truth that I need to know in the depths of my soul leapt of the page/screen:

 He rescued me, because He delighted in me. (v19)

For it is You who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness. (v28)

Yes, Lord. Yes.

He delights in me.
He lightens my darkness.

He fills the space in my heart that nothing and no one else can.
He shows up in ways only He knows how.

He truly is the One in whom I take refuge.
He is the One who, through Jesus, has brought great salvation and steadfast love to you & I.

Man, Lord.
I do love You.

read all of psalm 18 here!

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